The Historian Antonio Ronzon 1848

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The Historian Antonio Ronzon 1848
The Historian
Antonio Ronzon
by Celso Fabbro
Translation by:
Glenn J. Beech
Originally printed in the newspaper “Il Cadore”
Editions, November/December 1958 and January/February 1959
The Historian
Antonio Ronzon
The illustrious historian of Cadore Antonio Ronzon, was born in Laggio di Cadore, to a
modest family of craftsmen, on March 23, 1848, on the eve of the heroic insurrection of the
Cadorine people against the Austrians. He was the son of Paolo and Maria Antonia Pilottii.
Antonio‘s grandfather, of whom he told his life story in an essay on the history of his
villageii, had a decisive influence on the future of his grandson. The grandfather was bound by
a great friendship with the brothers Agostino, Luigi and Massimo Coletti from Pieve di Cadore,
being of service to them and lending his experience in forest materials, he was the first to think
of starting the studies for the beloved and promising grandson, in which he instinctively saw an
open intelligence. Ronzon described the touching scene of November 1863, when after
having had his first teachings in Latin, from the highly esteemed priest Don Antonio Da Rin
Sordin from Laggio, who he always revered as his first teacher, he was separated from his
grandfather to enter the Seminario Vescovile of Belluno. He was never able to again see this
beloved relative, who died a few months later, in February 1864.
Having become a priest, this being the career the youth of modest backgrounds, from
our region, were most readily to aspire. He completed the Seminary achieving many honors.
He studied the classics and the first years of theology under the guidance of valiant teachersiii.
In 1866 he finally saw Italy free from foreign servitude. With this event he sensed an
internal excitement, and a new aura of freedom and independence, he may have realized for
the first time the vocation of the priesthood was not the most suitable to his spirit and to his
inclination. It is said that, moved by patriotic enthusiasm, the young cleric had been seen
harassing his fellow townsmen in the square of Laggio as soon as the Austrians departed.
He would continue his studies at the Seminary until the spring of 1870. After a fierce
crisis of conscious, that distressed his spirit, he was above all preoccupied by the painful
disillusion that he would cause his family. In November of that same year he reached a
decision. He would abandon the clerical vestments, and as he affirmed in his autobiography,
“s’avventurò verso l’ingnoto”, “I shall venture towards the unknown” iv.
He never abandoned the Christian faith, the faith of his fathers, which inspired his
exemplary life as a citizen and an educator.
In August 1870, after intense study, he passed the examinations to be certified as
magistrale superiore. A little later, with the help of his benefactors, Agostino and Luigi Coletti
(the courageous companion of Pietro Fortunato Calvi in the defense of Cadore), at the end of
November of that same year he was transferred to Venice, where he became a tutor in the
Convitto Nazionale Marco Foscarini.
He continued in that position until September 1878, leaving in his pupils lasting
memories, “of his simple goodness, for his conscientiousness, for his solid teachings without
ostentation and above all for his moral and civil enthusiasm that he transfused into words and
communicated to his pupils”, these are the words expressed by his distinguished student,
senator Antonio Fradeletto recalling his unforgettable teacherv.
During his seven year sojourn in Venice, in that center of cultural and historic tradition
that connects Venice to Cadore, Ronzon was able to continue his classical studies and attain,
in July 1876, a double degree in belle lettere and philosophy from the University of Padua, but
it also to brought to maturity his inclination for history, under the teachings of the renowned
Giuseppe De Leva, a teacher at the University.
On October 1, 1878 he was named professor at the Ginnasio di Lodi, where he
remained until October 1883 and where, in that same month, he was married to the young
Lucia Arosio, who would be his trustworthy and faithful companion for life.
In October 1883 he was promoted to professor of philosophy in the Liceo di
Caltanissetta. In September 1884 he was promoted to professor of Italian letters at the Liceo
Tulliano di Arpino and in October 1887 he was transferred again to Lodi, his second, adopted
homeland, to the Liceo Pietro Verri, where for 18 years he nobly exercised his mission of
teaching and educating until the day he prematurely died (January 23, 1905), leaving many
with revered memories.
Death found him in the full fervor of his intellectual activities not only as a teacher and
educator but also of a man of letters and historian.
The notoriety of his name is entrusted particularly to his work on the history of Cadore.
For more than thirty years of his life he lavished all his talent and all his fervor, into an
imposing number of publications, on Cadore.
Idealism and positivism were fused in him in a rare and perfect synthesis. The patriotic
idealism of the generation to which he belonged, born in the period that culminated in the
Italian Risorgimento, had instilled in him the love of Italy and of the small homeland of his birth.
That love inspired and dominated all of his works. The positivism, that marked the new
scientific direction in the final decade of the last century, exhibited its influence on the young
Cadorino: with his balanced nature and thoughtfulness he would start that objective research,
that he admirably revealed to us in his historical studies.
With a profound devotion towards the historian who preceded him, the Cadorino
Monsignor Giuseppe Cianivi, whose great work was published during the Austrian domination
(1856-1862), inflamed the love for the homeland in the Cadorine youth. Antonio Ronzon
immediately understood that the history of Cadore had to be written with a new method of
investigation, according to the principles of the modern historical critic, which he understood,
“in tanta poverta artistica e letteraria, come una delle poche glorie dell’età presente”, which
was also favored by the historian Rinaldo Fulin, founder in 1871, of the Venetian magazine
Archivo Veneto and with Bartolomeo Cecchetti, the renowned Director of the Archivio di Sato
dei Frari.
He tracked the history of Cadore, in a new direction and exposed the sources of Cadorine
history to a rigorous investigation, he conducted a new and detailed research of the archives,
he studied and made comments on the precious historical materials collected by the Cadorine
doctor Taddeo Jacobi, abate Giuseppe Cadorin, abate Giuseppe Monti, Monsignor
Giambattista Martini, Monsignor Giovanni De Donà, and finally Don Pietro Ronco.
Antonio Ronzon is a little more than twenty years old. At this time Cadore is no longer
under Austrian domination, it is split in its secular unity, it is economically exhausted, without
trade, without appropriate communications, without schools, its’ antiquated Comunità is
impoverished by its rich heritage of strength, and by the enormous expenses imposed on it by
the invading foreigners, and reduced, to a symbolic expression of its glorious past. There is
much to do. These are the years in which the great Don Natale Talamini gave free venting to
his feelings, his inspirational poems and spread his writings of ardent patriotism, inciting the
Cadorine people to unite, to join in harmony and to seek progress, after seventy years of
foreign servitude.
The young Ronzon recognized for the first time the encouragement of this apostle of
Italy and in 1872 it provided the genesis to his historic work on Cadore.
In the years preceding the death of Don Natale Talamini, occurring in 1876, Antonio
Ronzon began in 1866 writing some poetic essays and after long meditation and preparation,
of which there is broad outline in his unpublished works conserved in the Cadorina di Vigovii,
he wrote and distributed the first in a series of the, Almanacchi Cadorini Dal Pelmo a Peralba
There are five volumes comprising 918 pages, modestly called by him almanacchi
(almanacs), in which he first described his small, native homeland, he studied the history, the
customs, the needs, the glorious past, and in the end, the life of Natale Talamini.
The introduction to the first volume contains an eloquent essay of the noble proposition
the author had in his soul that gave the impetus to this work.
“Youth of my fatherland and of my age here I have thrown the spark, together we can kindle the
fire. We have before us a wide and virgin field on which the youth can work. We shall show them and
ourselves, as well as all of Italy, what we are, in our virtue and in our vices, we can serve as an
example to others that we are correct with the cooperation of a strong commune. We revive our
memories, because united in those memories are a common history… and we can see that, although
situated in this extreme border…, we are not unworthy children of the motherland”.
And further on, in the introduction to the third Almanacco (1875), the valiant youth
reaffirms the mission that he proposed to have the small homeland re-emerge to a new
“Writing for the people there are two things on which I want to impress upon you: religion and
homeland. Fond of the light of progress, I cry out to them: Onward! But I also say do not deny the past;
the past, the present, and the future I want the people to be renewed together by the mysterious thread
of traditions, facts and hopes”.
And he closed, again inciting the Cadorine youth to civil intentions and having them
remember the admirable words recently engraved at the entrance of the road to Spluga:
“Simplicitas morum et unio
servabunt avitam libertatem”.
With this his youthful work Ronzon distributed to the Cadorine people and also to
people outside of Cadore, his first essays on the history of Cadore; a first narration of the
events of 1848 and the heroism of Pietro Fortunato Calvi and of Cadore; a stimulating
remembrance of the supreme painter Tiziano, that was inspired by a visit to his crypt at the
Church of Frari in Venice and a detailed description of all of the villages of Cadore. These
essays were widely circulated throughout Italy and would disclose, for the first time, this alpine
region, until then unknown.
These first works, gained him maximum praise from those he admired. Praise came
from Don Natale Talamini who encouraged him to continue on his path, with the words: “You
are the standard bearer of Cadore.”
In that same period of five years (1873-1877), Ronzon collaborated to publish articles in
the periodicals of the Provinceviii, he confronted the first battles on the most vital moral and
economic problems of Cadore. There is not a subject of public interest to which he remained a
stranger. He proceeded courageously along his road notwithstanding arguments and personal
attacks, provoked by jealousy and political spite.
In 1875 he published the history of the parish church of his native village: I Pievani di
Vigo. Cenno storico, as well as the following, Storia del commercio dei legnami in Cadore e
origine di Perarolo, P.F. Calvi. Appunti storici, Il 28 Maggio 1848, and La famiglia Mainardi di
In the same year a monument was erected at the foot of the Comunità bell tower,
dedicated to Pietro Fortunato Calvi, the hero from Noale, by his companions in arms. For the
occasion of the dedication of the monument he published the precious volume, Calvi e I
Cadorini. Memorie storiche e biogafiche, that represented the first biography of the hero and
the first complete narration of the strenuous defense of Cadore in 1848. It was an important
work that gained recognition for its detail to historical accuracy, as Ronzon obtained the news
of the events principally from the mouth of Luigi Coletti, the valiant organizer of the defense
and brave combatant at the side of Pietro Fortunato Calvi.
Giosuè Carducci, from this narration would draw the information that inspired his
celebrated ode Il Cadore. Calvi who challenged the enemy on May 2, 1848 at the Austrian
border, would become portrayed by the poet in his heroic gesture, as Ronzon described, on
the faith of eyewitnessesix.
Don Natale Talamini, Pescul (1808-1876)
In 1876 he courageously supported the controversy of a religious teacher in the school
against the hostile actions of a local school inspectorx.
In 1877 he published the Vita di Natale Talamini, which is the only complete biography
we have of this great Cadorine patriot.
In the same year, on the occasion of the Congresso of the Club Alpino, gathered in
Auronzo, the bibliography on Cadore was increased by Ronzon’s new work, Il Cadore
descritto, a volume of around 300 pages, that would notably contribute to make the region
known to the alpine mountaineers gathered from every part of Italy and Europe.
He wrote, “If this description makes it easer for others to know my homeland, it’s natural
beauty, it’s history and it’s illustrious men, and the fortunate result is for the visitor to
appreciate Cadore more, I would feel richly rewarded”.
He achieved that objective with great success, because it could be said that there was a
greater interest by climbers who would come to our superb Dolomite mountains to scale the
peaks, compared to only the few courageous mountain climbers who dared to achieve this in
the two preceding decades.
During the last years of his stay in Venice, (1875-1878), the activity of Ronzon, as a
journalist, appeared in the periodical La Voce del Cadore, founded by Giampietro Talamini, to
whom Ronzon was linked by a lively friendship, notwithstanding they would not have similar
political idealsxi. In this periodical he confronted the most salient problems that troubled
Cadore during that time.
Also the Venetian periodicals Il Tempo, Il Rinnovamento and the journal Archivo Veneto
welcomed his writings, that always benefited the region, and among them was the question of
the railroad that was of interest to all in the Belluno region.
In 1879, after only a few months since his transfer to Lodi, a new essay demonstrating
his historical and literary versatility was exhibited with the publication La Laudiade, Latin
poems by Jacopo Gabiano, a translation with copious notes by the professors Biagio
Guadagni and Antonio Ronzon.
The fame of Ronzon, during that year, extended outside the narrow borders of his
Cadore, so much that Angelo De Gubernatis, in his Biographical Dictionaryxii, would consider
him worthy to be numbered among the contemporary writers of the time and in the biography,
he would say of the style of the young writer from the Veneto, “he derives beauty and strength
from good studies, it has a free and easiness of the modern books generally more refined, and
that healthy liveliness and gentility shows the good nature of the man in the writer”.
Even when he was far from the Veneto, his thoughts constantly turned to Cadore. In
1879 he had published, in Venice, Il Piave, a wonderfully written book that was revived from
oblivion and reprinted in 1924. It is 40 pages, full of love, directed towards the homeland, in
which, with inspired lyricism, he recalls the historical events that took place over the centuries,
along the streams of the sacred river, through the epic insurrection of 1848 and the liberation
of 1866.
In it is revealed the soul of Antonio Ronzon, it manifests all the sensitivity of his Italian
heart, and with a prophetic spirit he was able to predict, forty years ahead, the blazing battle
fought in 1918 on the banks of the Piave by our victorious army.
Ronzon wrote in 1879:
"And maybe you are destined, Piave, to see again in your valleys, fighters of other battles, you
are one of the doors and signs, one of the ways to Italy, you are the heart of the quiet mountains, upon
which is born the Drava, the Carnic and the Noriche Alps, you hear the whispers of the German fury
against this Italian affair and the hatred of the Hapsburg family was not extinguished.”
In 1880 he took an active part in the dedication of the monument to Tiziano (Titian) in
Pieve di Cadore. As Secretary of the Committee he was among the promoters of the work
designed by the sculptor Antonio Dal Zotto. For the occasion, the valuable essay Della fama
di Tiziano was published in Venice; 75 pages of a profound, scholarly work, in which is
revealed the full knowledge of the bibliography of Tiziano from the 16th to the 19th century.
In 1881 and 1882 Cadore had the honor to host, at Perarolo, Her Majesty the Queen
Regina Margherita and the Prince of Naples, who was then a child. Antonio Ronzon was
among the first to honor the august sovereign. He offered her his writings on Cadore and later
he dedicated some verses to the Queen. In 1882 he published La Regina Margherita in
Cadore that had a wide distribution in Italy.
In 1881 he published Rindemèra – Scene del ’48 in Cadore the history of the famous
battle. It was a faithful narration of the heroic combatants and the victorious battle, taken from
the testimonials of his fellow villagers, from Laggio, who had taken part in the uneven struggle.
The newspapers Il Tempo of Venice, Il Pungolo of Milan, L’Illustrazione Italiana: Il
Fanfulla da Lodi and the Corriere dell’Adda accepted his historical writings and narratives,
which, he dispatched from Sicily and Arpino until 1887. Among these articles are stories on
the subject of Cadore, full of historical reminiscences and tales of village life at that time.
In 1884 he published, in the journal Archivo Veneto, the historic essay I Vicari dei
Cadore, that together with another of his writings I Podestà e I Capitani del Cadore
(Almanacco Cadorino del 1875), represented the first complete history of the two principle civil
organizations of the region.
Also while in Sicily he studied and worked for his Cadore, so much that on March 15,
1884 the patriot Luigi Coletti expressed his admiration and wrote to him: “You have well
understood our mission: to study, to teach and to love the homeland. Blessed is your will and
activity, and blessed is your love for Cadore, to our poor Cadore” xiii.
In 1885 the Corriere della Sera published two of his articles, Cadore and Ancora in
Cadore, that are worthy of being remembered, because they advocated the development of
tourism in the region and signaled the future progress in the twenty years since the foreign
Ronzon initiated the following year a new battle in the Bellunese newspaper L’Alpigiano
favoring the institution of a Scuola d’atri e mestieri a Pieve di Cadore, (School of arts and trade
of Pieve di Cadore) to further the progress of the Comunità, then called the Consorzio
Cadorino. The citizens of Vigo, were against the opposition by the peripheral municipalities,
adverse to every initiative realized in the district capital of Cadore.
In the fight for the support and the necessity of such a school to benefit the Cadorine
youth, arose an anger against providing for the future, but fortunately not effected was the
decision of December 27, 1885 by the Consiglio della Comunità, which had provided for the
alienation of all its property and the transfer of its proceeds in favor of the planned railroad
from Belluno-Peraroloxiv.
Already in 1883, discussing with the Camera dei Deputati the budget of the Ministerio d’
Agricoltura, Industria e Commercio, the honorable Luzzati had proposed to the Honorable
Ministro Berti the institution of a school of carving and cabinet making at Pieve di Cadore. He
was associated with the Honorable Sormani Moretti, a very honorable citizen of Cadore,
proposing that instead they should institute a Scuola d’arti e mestiera. The Ministro consented
to such proposal, “because it had been presented by a few founders”.
It was then Ronzon wrote for the first time, in a Venice newspaper, supporting that the
natural founder of a school of art and trade, “was and had to be the Consorzio Cadorino” xv.
But the words fell on deaf ears. The Consorzio Cadorino remained mute for two years.
Provocating with its inexplicable silence a new and forceful intervention by Ronzon with three
articles in the newspaper L’Alpigiano.
His profound belief of the necessity of such an institution induced Ronzon to close the
controversy with the following memorable words, “That President and that Consiglio of the
Cadorino Consorzio which might have placed the signature on the decision (to institute a
school of art and trade at Pieve di Cadore) would be of merit if only for the memory and the
everlasting gratitude of the country, and then finally they would be rejoicing, in their tomb, the
bones of Candido Coletti and Natale Talamini”.
It was truly the voices of Candido Coletti and of Natale Talamini that was renewed in the
words of Antonio Ronzon. This was the fertile seed that then germinated, over a period of
many years, with the creation of the Scuola Tecnica Industriale of Pieve di Cadore, which
today provides many advantages for the youth of Cadore.
But who remembers the generous benefactor Candido Coletti, who in the middle of the
last century, donated his enormous estate to the Cadorine Comunità, so it could be destined
for the instruction of the Cadorine youth?
Why should the Scuola Tecnica Industriale of Pieve not be named, without delay, after
Candido Colettixvi?
Ronzon again returned to Lodi in 1887, a city he greatly loved, where he passed the
remaining years of his life. He wrote and published many important literary and historical
works foreign to Cadore, again demonstrating his vast knowledge of culture and the versatility
of his talent. Among these was the valuable work, Scuole antiche e moderne di Lodi.
But Cadore was always first in his thoughts and his heart. He was always willing to
explain and defend the interests of his small homeland in every setting, from protecting the
forests to the development of the Cadorine craftsmanship.
In 1888 the Comunità Cadorina gave him the assignment of gathering and publishing
the Poesie di Natale Talamini; a work that, due to lack of finances, did not see light until 1897.
It was a volume of about 600 pages, with copious biographical notes and comments.
Antonio Ronzon has linked his name to the gratitude of Cadore, because he is the
founder of the Cadorine Library of Vigo.
Since 1874 he dreamed of this project and the establishment of a library. He called
attention to this idea in one of his writings published in the periodical La Provincia di Belluno,
1874, n. ri 49, 50, 55.
Finally, in 1891, after quite a few years, those first thoughts had matured into an actual
reality. On January 17, 1891 he addressed a noble appeal, “to you compatriots, friends,
colleagues, scholars, to the students of the homeland’s memories, to the lovers of the
institution”, he expressed the intent to build, in Cadore, Un Archivo Storico Cadorino – Una
Biblioteca Cadorina – Una Biblioteca Universale.
He wrote, “When you think, that in Cadore, there does not truly exists anything like this,
and to make it significant like they have made or will be making in all the other parts of Italy…;
when one thinks that to build an Archivo Storica Cadorino means saving the history and the
future history, the few memories that have not been lost, that to build a Biblioteca Cadorina, it
may be modest, it signifies we know the importance of history and science and the degree of
culture that is this small Italian Switzerland, the door to Italy that is Cadore…, I hope I do not
have to demonstrate again the goodness and the usefulness that is my project…”.
In a hardworking, strong-willed and tenacious man like Ronzon, the idea soon became
a reality. His appeal soon found a broad consensus and help, so much that on September 25,
1892 the Biblioteca Cadorina was dedicated in Vigo di Cadore, and it accumulated an
impressive collection of parchments, documents, manuscripts and publications on the subject
of Cadore or by Cadorine authors. Ronzon gave everything he possessed, dying without
riches, leaving all his manuscripts and books, including some precious incunabulum, to the
library he established.
Through the generosity of the Comune of Vigo, it has always provided for and sees to
the library’s conservation and to its development. Also, contained in the library are the works
of Don Pietro Da Ronco, Giovanni Fabbiani and others increasing the collection, all of them
have made contributions giving Cadore an important center of historical culture, and a place
for scholars to turn to learn of our municipal history.
In the last decade of his life, besides numerous minor writings, among which are the
memorable biography of Luigi Coletti and Luigi Rizzardi, and the Vita di San Antonio Abate,
Ronzon, from 1894 to 1896, published the second series of his Almanacco Storicio; Da Pelmo
a Peralba, in which he reveals all the maturity of his talent and his knowledge, confronting and
resolving the most difficult and obscure problems of Cadorine history; from its origins until the
Caminesi Signoria. And rightly, in the preface of the 1894 edition, he mentioned the progress
and the recognition of Cadore, “the many publications that illustrate Cadore have contributed
to make it more well known and more loved”: and all that by himself in a quarter of a century.
But the work that would be his masterpiece, the work for which he is most famous, is
the Archivo Storico Cadorino, the monthly periodical he published for six years, from 1898 until
1903. It ended publication a little after the premature death of this illustrious man.
We are able to assert, with sound conviction, that with the writings of the Archivo Storico
Cadorino, Antonio Ronzon succeeded in carrying, almost to completion, the analytic study of
all the historic periods of Cadore: the rigorous study, the minute and patient research and the
gathering of illustrations, that has preceded the historic summary; that synthesis of the historic
organizations of the entire Cadorine region, would have been considered the crowning glory of
his work, if death had not put out the light of this genius.
His innumerable works still remain precious and unsurpassed, and they render the
name of the deserving historian the eternal gratitude of Cadore.
We have not exhausted all of his merits. His life shines as the figure of a teacher and
an educator, with a unanimous consensus, from Venice to Lodi, from Caltanissetta to Arpino,
everywhere he is held in high esteem and has the affection and the devotion of local
authorities, teachers and students.
It is sufficient to remember once more the eulogy that was say of him, in 1924, by one of
his former students, Senator Antonio Fradeletto, it summarizes the wisdom of Ronzon,
affirming that, “he who was his student feels to have, from his teaching, that flame of
Italianism that the events of the life never cool down”.
At Lodi, his colleagues at the Liceo said of him, “by the constant example of an
irreproachable life he has educated quite a few generations in the love of virtue, honesty and
the right to feel”.
These would be the spiritual bonds that tie him to his pupils and the nobility of his soul,
we learn from the touching words he delivered to the scholars of the Liceo, when he went to
visit them on the day of his onomastico, a few months before his death.
“On this day which should be for me one of joy is instead one of pain, not so much for me but for
my dear family, since standing open before me are the doors of eternity; on this day, I say, I feel a
serene comfort in my heart knowing the memory you keep for your teacher.
I cannot do more for you than pray for you and for your careers. And when I am in my tomb,
turn sometimes toward the sky, and from your good and generous heart, say a prayer for me”.
On the thirtieth day of his death a marble stone was placed at the Liceo Pietro Verri of
Lodi with the following epitaph:
Professor Cavaliere Ufficio Antonio Ronzon
Born in Laggio di Cadore March 23, 1848
Died in Lodi January 23, 1905
Teacher in this Institution for 27 years
Steady, loyal, affectionate
Tireless in his study and his teaching
Lover of his homeland and his religion
He lived as a high example to the youth of Italy
In memory from his colleagues and students
On September 6, 1925, at the initiative of this writer, who was then the Presidente della
Magnifica Comunità di Cadore, the Comune of Vigo di Cadore solemnly commemorated the
illustrious tirade of it’s fellow citizens Professor Antonio Ronzon, Professor Giovanni Fioretto,
the writer and poet, and Tomaso Da Rin, the talented painter of sacred art and portraits. The
square of Laggio was dedicated in the name of Antonio Ronzon. A memorial stone, with the
epigraph written by Don Pietro Da Ronco, was placed on the municipal palace. The
distinguished fellow citizen professor Galileo Agnoli, Principle of the Liceo Scientifico di
Cremona, gave the official oration, to which we refer those who would be eager to know the
historic and literary value of the work of Ronzonxvii.
On the fiftieth anniversary of his death, January 25, 1955 the Magnifica Comunità di
Cadore commemorated with equal solemnity, the figure of the illustrious Cadorino. In the main
room of the palace of the Comunità was unveiled a bronze bust made by the talented sculptor
professor Carlo Letti from the Accademia di Belli Arti in Venice. The official speech was given
by this writer, Celso Fabbro, whose respectful homage to the man who taught the youth of his
generation the love of one’s native land, of Italy and Cadore, the admiration of traditions and
the glory of our land.
Piazza Ronzon in Vigo di Cadore
Principal publications by Antonio Ronzon
1. Viaggio nel’ Alta Italia, fatto dal convitti M. Foscarini (1872)
2. Da Pelmo a Peralba-Almanaco Cadorino anni quattro (1873-1876) Series 1
3. La famiglia Mainardi di Lorenzago nel Cadore, Memoria storica (1875)
4. I pievani di Vigo. Cenno storico (1875)
5. Calvi e i Cadorini. Memorie storiche e biografiche (1875)
6. Torino e Milano (1875)
7. Natale Talamini (1877)
8. Il Cadore descritto sotto l’aspetto geografico, storico, biografico, artistico (1877)
9. Il Piave (1879)
10. Da Venezia a Cadore (1879)
11. I Convitti Nazionali (1880)
12. Della Fama di Tiziano (1880)
13. Rindemèra Scene del 48 in Cadore (1881)
14. La egina Margherita in Cadore. (1882)
15. Le scuole antiche e moderne di Lodi (1883)
16. I Vicari del Cadore (1884)
17. Sul Prato: novella cadorina (1885)
18. Una gita nella piccola Svizzera italiana (1885)
19. Daggio di precetti e temi per la compoizione italiana per il ginnasio superiore e il liceo
20. Francesco de Lemene (1890)
21. La chiesa sei Santi Ermagora e Fortunato (1892)
22. Medici e medicine in Cadore sotto la Repubblica di Venezia (1894)
23. Da Pelmo a Peralba-Almanaco Cadorino anni tre (1894-1895-1896) Series 2
24. Luigi Coletti (1894)
25. La Pieve e i pievani di Santo Stefano del Comelico (1895)
26. Il privilegio della Communità del Cadore ad essa accordato dall Repubblica di Venezia
nel 1420 al tempo della dedizione (1895)
27. Arti Sorelle (1897)
28. Natale Talamini (1897(
29. Archivo Storico Cadorino (1898-1903)
30. Luigi Rizzardi (1901)
31. La “Laudiade” di Jacopo Gabiano
His mother died on October 9, 1857 when the son was not even ten years of age. He remembers her with
moving words, in his beautiful narration of the feat of arms of Rindemèra on May 28, 1848. During the night that
preceded the heroic fight, the tocsin of bell towers announced the approach of the Austrians. The elderly, the
women and the children from Laggio abandoned their hearths and sought protection in the surrounding high
ground. “Among these children”, tells Ronzon, “was included he who writes these scenes, who on May 27, 1848
was only two months old. My poor mother, who was blessed, had gone to Pramossèi, right under the Schiavone,
keeping me tight in her arms and protecting me with her pure and sacred love.
Le Memorie del nonno (Un altro frammento della Storia del mio villaggio) in “Strenna Bellunese”, 1889, pp 1019.
They are remembered in a particular manner the professors Don Vito Talamini and Don Pietro Follador, who
distinguished themselves in the discipline of literature.
Dizionario biografico degli scrittori contemporanei Angelo De Gubernatis (Firenze; Succ. Le Monnier, 1879, pp.
In a letter of September 1, 1925 to the Commissario prefettizi of Vigo di Cadore, on the occasion of the solemn
honor rendered by the commune to the illustrious triad of their fellow townsmen Antonio Ronzon, Giovanni
Fioretto and Tomaso DaRin (Il Gazzettino September 17, 1925).
Ronzon considered Ciani, “his leader and his teacher” as is revealed to us in one of his unpublished letter
written November 7, 1872 from Venice to Monsignor GiovanniBattista Martini of Padola, who was then an eminent
devotee of the history of Cadore. Ronzon speaks of Ciani with admiration in the first pages of his Sommario della
storia cadorina, published in the Almanacco Dal Pelmo a Peralba 1873.
There are six volumes of manuscripts of more than a thousand pages, in which Ronzon kept the details of the
letters he wrote from 1872 to 1883. They are in part family letters and in part relative to the historic studies and
the various problems of recent events, addressed also to the personalities of that time.
On July 4, 1872 he wrote to Don Natale Talamini:
“I have spent these days contemplating with pleasure the thoughts of gathering things relative to
Cadore…, to write regarding its history and its needs, its benefits and its shortcomings and formulating it all into a
small book that would have the title of Almanacco Cadorino.”
If these thoughts should be carried through, would you be kind enough to let me hear what you think…
The Almanacco Cadorino of 1873, you would then be able to be the father of the 1874…”
“I ask for your advise on the direction that I should give to my almanac, on the spirit that it may be able to
overcome such a humble title, to be advantageous our beloved birthplace.”
On August 6, 1872 he wrote to Luigi Coletti asking him for his advise and sharing with him the program
that “has been ruminating in my head”.
His first journalistic essay, if we are not mistaken, appeared in the periodical La Provincia di Belluno n. 49, 50,
and 55 of 1874. These were followed by other writings in the Rivista Cadorina, Il Tomitano of Feltre, La Voce del
Cadore, and after 1875 in various periodicals outside the Province of Belluno.
The heroic gesture of Calvi, was baselessly contested by Lamberto Chiarelli in 1929 in, L’anima del Cadore nella
tradizione storica e nella poesia carducciana and attributed to another soldier. The error was based on
documents of dubious authenticity.
See: Letter October 28, 1876 by Antonio Ronzon to the R. Ispettore Scolastico of Cadore, published in La Voce
del Cadore N. 47 October 29, 1876.
In May 1873 Giampietro Talamini invited him to collaborate on the newspaper La Voce del Cadore he had
founded. Ronzon responded that he did not share his political ideas, but that, “ in what constitutes the interests of
our little homeland, it is a very good way to reach agreement”. And such an agreement was soon reached
between the two valiant men, because the same feeling of love for the small homeland animated both. The
periodical in its’ six years of life (1874-1879) had an abundant collaboration by Ronzon.
Dizionario biografico degli scrittori contemporanei Angelo De Gubernatis (Firenze; Succ. Le Monnier, 1879, pp.
Letter published in: “Archivo Storico di Belluno, Feltre and Cadore), n. 73, January – February 1941, pp. 12561257.
See his article Il Consorzio Cadorino e una scuola d’arti e mestieri in Pieve di Cadore, in L’Alpigiano, February
25, 1886, which was followed by two other articles on March 4 and April 25, 1886.
This article is mentioned by Ronzon three years later, in L’Alpigiano, February 25, 1886.
What we have proposed also in our commemoration of Ronzon, held on January 25, 1955 in the palace of the
Comunità di Cadore. This proposal followed Fiorello Zengrando in his recent remembrance of the benefactor
Candido Coletti. Now it is the duty of the Magnifica Comunità to make arrangements with the Autorita Scolastiche
so it can finally be accomplished that work/performed such work ????????
Agnoli L. Galileo: Discorso nella inaugurazione delle lapidi a G. Fioretto, ad A. Ronzon, a T. Da Rin, fatto in
Vigo di Cadore il 6 settembre 1925. In the Annuario of the Liceo Scientifico, Gaspare Aselli of Cremona,
scholastic year 1924-25. Cremona, 1925, pp. 29-43.
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